Bound 2

Album: Yeezus (2013)
Charted: 55 12
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  • This was one of several songs on Yeezus that super-producer Rick Rubin (Johnny Cash, Run-DMC, Red Hot Chili Peppers) worked on. West had come to the bearded beat guru three weeks before the album's last possible delivery date to the label asking him to help complete the job. "When he first played it for me, it was a more middle of the road R&B song, done in an adult contemporary style," Rubin recalled to The Wall Street Journal. Kanye had the idea of combining that track with a cool sample he had found and liked – I removed all of the R&B elements leaving only a single note baseline in the hook which we processed to have a punk edge in Suicide tradition."

    American Electronic Protopunk musical duo Suicide have been intermittently active since 1970. A flyer the band circulated in November 1970 was the first ever to use the phrase "punk music" to advertise a concert. Never widely popular amongst the general public, Suicide's New Wave and Synthpop sounds of the late '70s and early '80s are regarded as highly influential by music critics.
  • Speaking to the New York Times, West described himself as a "minimalist in a rapper's body." He added that he brought in Rubin to "bring all those vibes" to the album. "I'm still just a kid learning about minimalism, and he's a master of it," West explained.
  • This soul-powered tune finds West opening up to a significant other. It features smooth R&B singer-songwriter-producer and former lead singer of The Gap Band, Charlie Wilson crooning on the hook. Other West tunes that Wilson has contributed to include "See Me Now," "All of the Lights" and several tracks from the rapper's 'G.O.O.D. Friday' series.
  • The song is built around a sample of "Bound," a 1971 Soul tune by Ponderosa Twins Plus One. Other tracks borrowed from are "Aeroplane," written by Norman Whiteside and performed by him under the pseudonym of Wee and the "uh huh, honey" from the intro to Brenda Lee's 1960 hit tune "Sweet Nothin's."

    So what did Brenda Lee think about West borrowing from her hit tune? She responded to CMT after hearing this profanity-rich song:
    "It's kind of like a rapping thing with a '60s vibe a little bit—that was probably one of the cleaner parts.

    "That song is over 50 years old," she added, "so who would have thought that they'd even know that song, or probably even me? I'm proud that he liked the song and thought enough of it to incorporate it."
  • The video was directed by the fashion photographer Nick Knight and finds West and his fiancee Kim Kardashian driving through the Arizona desert on a motorcycle. During an interview with Charlamagne tha God on Power 105.1's The Breakfast Club, West admitted the clip was tongue-in-cheek: "I wanted it to look as phony as possible," he said.

    Actors James Franco and Seth Rogen filmed a shot-for-shot parody video of the promo during downtime on the pair's movie, The Interview. The deadpan version of the visual found Franco playing West and Rogen taking on the role of Kardashian. Kim Kardashian revealed that she and West found the clip to be very funny.
  • Ricky Spicer, a group member of Ponderosa Twins Plus One who recorded the lyrics for "Bound" in 1969 when he was 12, told the New York Daily News that he never gave West permission to use the song. He added that he only learned of "Bound 2's" existence while listening to the radio. As a consequence, Spicer filed a suit on December 23, 2013 in Manhattan Supreme Court. demanding that West compensate him or cease and desist from using his voice.

    Kanye West settled with Ricky Spicer a year and a half later. Paperwork was filed to a New York court on May 11, 2015 discontinuing Spicer's suit. It's not known how much money was involved in the settlement.
  • Speaking with Interview magazine, West said people who criticized the look of the music clip are afraid of dreams. "That video is one of the closest things to the way that dreams look and feel, or the way joy looks and feels, with the colors," he said. "There are rules to how a lot of things are: the concrete jungle, stone pavement, brick walls ... But this video completely didn't respect any of those rules whatsoever. It's a dream, and I think the controversy comes from the fact that I don't think most people are comfortable with their own dreams, so it's hard for them to be comfortable with other people's dreams."
  • The song might not be the first one that comes to mind when thinking of a candidate for being turned into a children's book, but graphic designer Zak Tebbal saw something the majority of us didn't. His kids' tome, titled Bound 2Gether, tells a story featuring Kanye and a baby chicken called Kim. Asked by Gigwise what inspired the plotline, Tebbal replied: "On one line in the song, Kanye sings 'One good girl is worth a thousand bitches,' but for a live TV performance of the song, Kanye censored this to 'One good chick is worth one thousand chickens,' which is the closing line in the book."

    "I started with that line, and shaped the rest of the plot around it. Once I had the plot nailed down, I spent a couple of nights designing and illustrating the spreads, which was definitely the fun part."
  • Originally this wasn't a sample-based track. Rick Rubin recalled in a Genius attribution:

    "It was a band track with singing, no idea who. I got involved late in the game.

    He came in one day and said he got inspired driving up the Pacific Coast Highway, on the way to my studio. He thought it would be a good thing to try the sample he found, so we tried that and the whole song changed. The chorus was still the old way, where it was sort of a band version. I took everything out of that and reduced it to one sort of ugly sounding synth. I would say the old version was more like MOR, R&B. That's just an example of one song on Yeezus that changed a lot. Some of them changed a little, some of them changed a lot."
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